There are few things better than settling down after a hard day at work and ordering a pizza.
Let’s be honest. Pizza is basically one of the world’s favourite foods. No matter where you go, there are always going to be a ton of different restaurants and takeout places that can help you to feed your pizza craving.
And of course, there’s so much variety to be had. From your basic cheese and tomato pizza through to pizzas that come loaded with meats and even pineapple, there’s literally something for everyone.
But now, we come to the main question that this article will attempt to answer.
What do you drink with your pizza – beer or Italian wine?
To figure that out, we’re going to look at each beverage in turn to see what it has to offer when paired with pizza.
Let’s start with beer.
Beer and Pizza
It seems like such a classic combination. And there are likely many a time when you’ve gone to a restaurant and enjoyed a beer with a slice or two of pizza.
What makes this such a good combination?
Well, there’s plenty of variety in beer, just as there is in wine. And that’s going to prove important given the sheer number of pizza types out there. A beer that works well with a cheese pizza may not work so well with a meat east pizza, for example.
A plain pizza calls for a clean and crisp beer, for example. You don’t want something too loaded with flavour as it will overwhelm the pizza. A bitter goes better with a meaty pizza as it offsets the richness of the meat. And you can even use malty beers to help you handle the heat when you go with a pizza that has a little bit more spice to it.
That mention of malty beer also clues you into another reason why beer is such a great pairing with pizza. Beer requires several ingredients to make, which means you can get examples with all sorts of different balances. This allow you to really dig down and find a beer that suits the specific type of pizza on your plate.
That also means the beer has a huge variety of flavours. Each manufacturer will usually make several types of beer. Plus, you have all of the independent brewers out there that are making names for themselves in the current climate.
Simply put, you’re going to find something that goes well with your pizza.
There’s only one real problem when it comes to pairing beer with pizza.
Pizza isn’t always the lightest of foods. Even a pizza with a thin base still gives you a lot of bread to chew your way through. That means the meal can get a little bit stodgy, especially when you’re throwing cheese and meat into the mix.
Beer is a stodgy drink to. Its gassy nature means that it fills you up faster than Italian wine. Plus, it’s a heavier drink, which can further add to that feeling of fullness. Simply put, a couple of glasses of beer, especially if you’re drinking pints, may ruin your appetite for the pizza in the first place. And if that happens, it doesn’t really matter how well the beer pairs with the food.
Still, with so much variety in beers on offer, you’re sure to find something that goes well with your chosen pizza. Just don’t go overboard when you’re drinking.
Italian Wine and Pizza
Of course, when it comes to variety you have literally thousands of different types of wine to choose from. There are many producers in Italy, all of whom lend their own twists to their vintages. Combine that with the fact that every region has its own trademark wines and that you have producers experimenting all of the time and Italian wine can easily stack up to beer in the variety stakes.
However, some might argue that the fact that wine only uses grapes in production lends it a little less versatility than beer, which has several ingredients. Of course, any connoisseur will tell you that’s nonsense as even the same type of wine from different producers will have varying notes depending on the terroir and production methods.
And that’s without even considering the basic differences between white and red wine.
Still, there are many out there who will look at wine as a “fruity” drink. And those people may assume that it has its limitations when it comes to pairing with pizza.
That’s not the case. There’s a wine to go with every ingredient that you might think to place on a pizza. Plus, there’s one distinct advantage that Italian wine has over pizza.
Both the food and the drink comes from Italy. When an Italian makes pizza, they’re not just making an item of food. They’re crafting something that will complement their preferred wines. The pizza in an Italian restaurant perfectly suits the wines served alongside it, which means that pairing is built into the dish.
Of course, that isn’t to say that every type of wine goes with every type of pizza. In fact, the sheer variety that’s on offer may even make it difficult for you to decide on which type of wine to drink.
There’s also the fact that wine is generally a lighter drink that beer. That’s especially the case if you go for a white wine. This means you can usually enjoy a little more of your pizza before the wine starts to fill you up.
Which is Better?
We’re a wine website so we’re going to lean towards wine as the better pairing for pizza than beer.
However, both certainly have their positives. You’re just as likely to enjoy a slice with an ice-cold beer as you are to enjoy one with an interesting glass of Italian red wine.
As usual, it comes down to personal preference. Those who like the touch of fruitiness that wine brings will prefer that as a pairing. Those looking for something a little more bitter may prefer to lean towards beer.